Ah, the (in)famous writer’s block, also known as creative bankruptcy.
It’s by far the most hated aspect of being a writer.
Sometimes it’s so severe that it makes you doubt your abilities, maybe even doubt whether being a writer is worth it.
What am I going to write about?
I could almost hear a lot of writers thinking that it would be better to fake their own deaths rather than try to find a satisfactory answer to this question.
Maybe I’m being a bit melodramatic. Just a bit.
So, yeah, how do you overcome writer’s block?
Seems legit, doesn’t it?
Read. Just read anything. I often go on long walks through Wikipedia or Quora, reading about all sorts of fascinating topics. You never know where you’ll find the right words that will jump-start your creativity.
2. Listen to a podcast
Maybe it’s all about the medium. If you expose yourself to ideas being presented differently, maybe that will activate the part of your brain responsible for writing.
3. Socialize with fellow human beings
I bet you weren’t expecting that one. Go out and have some fun. Maybe someone will tell you how one time they did something that you’re just compelled to write into one of your novels.
The muse rarely visits you if you cut yourself off from the world. If you’ve run dry on things to write about, try living life for a while, and then return to your desk.
4. Write anyway
Even if have no idea what you’re going to write about.
Tell yourself you’re going to write the worst words ever written. But you’ll do it anyway. Just because you’re a writer and writers write.
Sit down at your desk, turn off all the electronic devices that keep clamoring for your attention, and just write. Keep writing. I’m not sure when, but at some point you’ll start writing something that kind of gets you excited. You always do.
5. Eavesdrop on other people’s conversations
Yes. It’s kind of a bad habit, and maybe it’s frowned upon in some ways, but being curious about what other people say will inspire you. Eventually. Not all of the conversations you’ll overhear are going to be interesting, but some will undoubtedly find their way into your writing. With a bit of creativity from your part.
6. Write your thoughts
What are you thinking about right now? How are you feeling? Describe the sensations in your body. Describe your surroundings. What is going on in the world around you? What does that remind you of?
7. Go write somewhere else
Most of us write in the comfort of our own homes. Or we choose to go somewhere we’ve been before. Nothing wrong with that, but the familiarity of a place may well inhibit your creativity.
Going to a place you’ve never been before helps you connect the dots. It inspires your mind. Your brain is soaking it new information, so it makes all the sense in the world.
8. Write down your ideas when they come to you
Ideas are strange. They come to you at the most inopportune of moments. Like in the shower. At 3 AM, when all you’re trying to do is fall asleep. In the bus. At a party. Most of the times we don’t write them down. And then we complain about being creatively bankrupt.
You just ignored your best ideas for three days straight, no wonder your brain stopped producing them.
Instead, train yourself to write them down, no matter where you are. Write them down on our phone, on a napkin, it doesn’t matter. Even if there are people around, they’ll forgive it as another one of the many eccentricities of a writer.
How about you?
How do you cope with writer’s block? What techniques have you tried?